BREAKING NEWS US recommends 'pause' for J&J vaccine over clot reports Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Okolona native, and former NFL star Jack Gregory dies

Gregory was 74 years old.

Posted: Mar 2, 2019 8:36 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2019 11:06 PM

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (Obituary) - Jack Gregory, Jr., longtime legendary NFL player, farmer, businessman, philanthropist and Chief Executive Officer of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, tackled the last obstacle of sickness and received the victory at 6 a.m. Saturday, March 2nd in Monroe County at age 74.

Known affectionately and respectfully by most as “Big Jack”, the 6’ 5’ giant of a man was born in Tupelo to the late Earl Jackson “Jack” Gregory, an NFL All Star in his own right, and Earlene McComb Gregory.

Gregory family

A man with a gregarious personality and vivacious wit, Gregory graduated from Okolona High School in l962 where he was an award winning standout and All-Conference athlete in football, track and basketball.

Gregory accepted a scholarship to play college football at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga where he was an Honorable Mention All-American playing tight end for the Moccasins.  Although drafted his junior year, he instead transferred to Delta State University where he graduated and set the DSU college record with 557 yards as a tight end.

His pro football career began with the Cleveland Browns, the team his father played for in the l940s. A dominating defensive end, he excelled as a defensive end and tackle, becoming one of the most ferocious quarterback sackers in the NFL.  In l970, in the Browns opening game against the New York Jets, Gregory sacked legendary quarterback Joe Namath in the first televised Monday Night Football game.

Jack became the first free agent in Cleveland Browns history and chose the New York Giants. In l972, Gregory had his finest season, leading the NFL with 21 quarterback sacks, making him NFL Defensive Player of the Year runner-up.

Gregory retired from professional football in 1979, playing his last season with his beloved Browns.

Gregory returned to Mississippi and became a model civic activist, philanthropist, farmer and businessman. He loved the lands of Chickasaw and Monroe County where he farmed its lands and raised cattle.

He formerly owned Jack Gregory Enterprises, a furniture manufacturing firm.  Gregory devoted many hours to his favorite charity, the Easter Seals Campaign where he served several times as National Campaign Chairman and National Board President in l988, achieving the designation as longest serving professional athlete telethon chairman in the organization’s long history.

Gregory became a talent scout for the Denver Broncos.  He was a licensed professional auctioneer, and was founder, president and ringmaster for Rebel Auction Company.

In l993, he was chosen to be executive director of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, a position he held for 11 years.  An Okolona and Northeast Mississippi icon, Gregory enjoyed his last years being a citizen and purveyor of good times and strong fellowship with his thousands of friends from everywhere.

A former Mississippi National Guard member, he was a lifelong member of the Okolona Presbyterian Church, the Okolona Country Club and the Okolona American Legion.

A service celebrating his life will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, March 4, 2019 at the Okolona Presbyterian Church with Rev. Dr. Randy Lewman and Rev. Jimmy Bryan officiating. Burial will be in the Gregory family plot at Oddfellows Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 at Holland Funeral Directors-Okolona Chapel and from 11 a.m. to service time on Monday at Okolona Presbyterian Church.

Big Jack leaves behind his wife, Susan Brooks Gregory of Okolona, who he married Aug. 7, 2000; his son, E. J. Gregory, III and his wife, Charla of Oxford and a daughter, Madison Brook Gregory of Canton; two step children, Michael Carter (Brandy) of Wren and Amanda Hicklin (Eric). His grandchildren, Riley, Sydni, Thomas, Lucas and Ayden. His only brother, Judge John Andrew Gregory (Claire) of Okolona, and his family, and thousands of friends across Mississippi and around the country. He was preceded in death by his parents and first wife, Gwen Massey Gregory.

Memorials may be made to Okolona Presbyterian Church, 118 Robertson St., Okolona, MS. 38860, Tupelo Lee Humane Society, P. O. Box 2143, Tupelo, MS. 38801 or to Wags, 1317 Old Hwy 6, Amory, MS. 38821. Condolences may be e-mailed to hollandfuneraldirectors@comcast.net

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 62°
Columbus
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 60°
Oxford
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Starkville
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 54°
Clouds increase a bit more on Tuesday, though there will still be plenty of sunshine at times. Temperatures will remain very warm. An isolated sprinkle or shower is possible later in the day, though rain chances are much more likely into Wednesday as a cold front passes.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather